Discrimination in employment based on religion is outlawed by both federal and Kentucky state law. The federal prohibition is under what is often referred to as Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, which also prohibits discrimination based on race, gender and national origin. The Kentucky state law is the Kentucky Civil Rights Act, which likewise also bars discrmination based on race, gender, national origin, age and disability.
These laws establish a simple rule that the Supreme Court announced yesterday in its case, EEOC v Abercrombie & Fitch:
An employer may not make an applicant’s [or an employee's] religious practice, confirmed or otherwise, a factor in employment decisions.
The Court's decision was 8-1 and it also gave this helpful example:
For example, suppose that an employer thinks (though he does not know for certain) that a job applicant may be an orthodox Jew who will observe the Sabbath, and thus be unable to work on Saturdays. If the applicant actually requires an accommodation of that religious practice, and the employer’s desire to avoid the prospective accommodation is a motivating factor in his decision, the employer violates Title VII.
Lexington, Kentucky discrimination lawyer Robert Abell represents individuals and employees in employment discrimination cases; contact him at 859-254-7076.